Manchester United, the defending champions, smoothly advanced to the Carabao Cup fourth round with a convincing victory over fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro scored first-half goals, while Anthony Martial netted a clinical finish early in the second half, all contributing to United’s comfortable win. The victory comes as a welcome respite for United manager Erik ten Hag, who has faced various challenges in recent weeks, providing his team with a much-needed straightforward success in a season marked by struggles.
Ten Hag made key lineup changes, including Mason Mount’s return to the starting XI and Sofyan Amrabat’s first start, albeit in an unfamiliar left-back role. United displayed controlled possession and executed a game plan that emphasized creating overloads on the right flank through precise cross-field passes from the left, a tactic effectively implemented by Amrabat and Mount.
Moroccan international Amrabat impressed as an inverted left-back, showcasing his passing range, energy, and defensive awareness. Diogo Dalot’s low cross set up Garnacho for the opening goal, and Mount’s corner found Casemiro for the second, sealing the match’s outcome.
Anthony Martial’s goal from a tight angle marked his first of the season, and it coincided with his return to Old Trafford after a recent controversial substitution. Goalkeeper Andre Onana made crucial late saves to preserve the clean sheet, thwarting Jean-Phillippe Mateta’s close-range attempts.
For Crystal Palace, the night ended on a sour note as goalkeeper Dean Henderson, making his debut against his former club, was forced off with muscular pain just 19 minutes into the match. The two teams will meet again in the Premier League on Saturday.